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  1. #1

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography of publications since 1800

    By: Richard Watkins

    Format: A4 (296 x 210 mm, 11 x 8 inch), 2 volumes of 393 and 624 pages (total 1017 pages), no illustrations.

    First published December 2004, this 2 volume book is a bibliography listing about 2,200 books and pamphlets relating to mechanical watches.

    It is not simply a list. It is comprehensively indexed and annotated.

    Volume 1 (393 pages) is the bibliography and lists 2,223 items. In addition to normal bibliographic information, many entries have details of contents and some 500 entries include reviews and remarks.

    Volume 2 (624) contains 5 indexes and a price guide. The indexes are Full title (2740 entries), Title Key-word (6860 entries), Author (3240 entries), Date of publication (2233 entries) and Subject (26,640 entries). The subject index is a comprehensive index to the books based on their contents. Finally, the price guide has 13,500 entries giving sale prices over the last few years.

    "Mechanical Watches" is provided free. This 2-volume book is provided as three zipped Adobe Acrobat PDF files of about 2.4 MB which can be expanded by any zip file utility or stuffit. It can be downloaded from

    www.watkinsr.id.au

    However, please note that there are about 1,024 pages to be printed, preferably double sided using a duplex laser printer.

    If you would prefer to be provided with a printed copy, I can produce one off copies either as loose pages for you to bind or spiral bound. These copies will be provided at cost and will be about $50 Australian dollars. As the book weighs about 3kg air mail postage and packing is about $90 Australian dollars and surface postage about $50 Australian dollars.

    For details and exact costs email me: books@watkinsr.id.au.
    Richard Watkins
    Books: http://watkinsr.id.au

  2. #2

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography

    Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography of publications since 1800

    By: Richard Watkins

    Format: A4 (296 x 210 mm, 11 x 8 inch), 2 volumes of 393 and 624 pages (total 1017 pages), no illustrations.

    First published December 2004, this 2 volume book is a bibliography listing about 2,200 books and pamphlets relating to mechanical watches.

    It is not simply a list. It is comprehensively indexed and annotated.

    Volume 1 (393 pages) is the bibliography and lists 2,223 items. In addition to normal bibliographic information, many entries have details of contents and some 500 entries include reviews and remarks.

    Volume 2 (624) contains 5 indexes and a price guide. The indexes are Full title (2740 entries), Title Key-word (6860 entries), Author (3240 entries), Date of publication (2233 entries) and Subject (26,640 entries). The subject index is a comprehensive index to the books based on their contents. Finally, the price guide has 13,500 entries giving sale prices over the last few years.

    "Mechanical Watches" is provided free. This 2-volume book is provided as three zipped Adobe Acrobat PDF files of about 2.4 MB which can be expanded by any zip file utility or stuffit. It can be downloaded from

    www.watkinsr.id.au

    However, please note that there are about 1,024 pages to be printed, preferably double sided using a duplex laser printer.

    If you would prefer to be provided with a printed copy, I can produce one off copies either as loose pages for you to bind or spiral bound. These copies will be provided at cost and will be about $50 Australian dollars. As the book weighs about 3kg air mail postage and packing is about $90 Australian dollars and surface postage about $50 Australian dollars.

    For details and exact costs email me: books@watkinsr.id.au.
    Richard Watkins
    Books: http://watkinsr.id.au

  3. #3

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    Minor Error:
    I have just posted a revised zip file correcting a minor error; I incorrectly spelt David Penney's name as Penny.

    Minor errors are just as important as major errors. The difference is that I can correct minor errors fairly easily. Major errors have to wait until I completely rebuild the data base files and will be done when I have enough changes to justify the work.

    However, I am happy to receive any suggestions/corrections at any time.
    Richard Watkins
    Books: http://watkinsr.id.au

  4. #4

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    Thanks again for all your efforts on these projects and a special thanks for your generousity in making them available gratis to the public.

    Cheers, Ralph

  5. #5
    WatchDoc
    Guest

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    Richard, this is a voluminous compilation and one of the most useful horological bibliographies. While Baillie's biblio is excellent, it only covers till 1800 - perhaps the reason you started at 1800? thanks for the tremendous effort!

  6. #6

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    Dr. Watkins has to be congratulated on producing his major 'opus'. I didn't read it yet in its whole scope. In addition to a 'light' browsing through the both files, I read thouroughly only less than 100 pages of it, what is less than 10 percent of the content. Nevertheless, I already have some comments and questions.

    It appears that under the current economy, such a book is not publishable in a conventional way. However it was written as such. Placing it on the internet as a kind of e-book seems to be the only way of sharing this important information with the horological community. This is very generous, but under such circumstances, the editorial process, which possibly could improve quality of the presentation, is lost, and may be only partially substituted by periodic improvements/corrections by the Author. On the other hand , a publication of a book in internet creates some new opportunities of making its content 'searchable' in different ways. Such an approach might to some extent substitute the indices, but the result would be less organized (and more difficult to use) than the indices kindly provided by the Author. I am sure that Dr. Watkins has analyzed all these possibilities. It would be nice if he would share with us his thoughts on the subject.

    Supervising graduate students I always have emphasized that to carry a successful research, one has to keep a proper balance between the 'consumption' (required reading) and 'production' (experimentation, data processing, and writing). Dr. Watkins gave us a terrific 'menu' for our possible consumption, and provided us with interesting 'appetizers' (indices). However, it is an open question in my mind whether his references to a number of lesser quality publications should be presented at all. Perhaps, it would be a 'lesser evil' to trust his judgment in weeding them out, than to struggle with overwhelming number of almost worthless information sources. I have enjoyed very much Dr. Watkins' frank comments on some publications. Even if I didn't agree with him completely, it was refreshing to see it in our times of excessive 'political correctness'.

    In reading the text of this 'Bibliography' I didn't like seeing German titles written without using the capital letters where they should be placed. Perhaps, only R226 was an exception. What was the purpose of such 'simplification' of the Geman language? R375 most likely was written in Czech, but not in Polish. R235 is forthcoming. This information wet my appetite. I would be very much interested in seeing it. The Baillie Bibliography was also reprinted from the 1951 edition (by permission of NAG Press Limited) as a 1978 North American Edition, published by 'Movements in Time', Toronto, but it printed in England.

    Thanks are due to Dr. Watkins for his important work, and for giving it to us.

    Sincerely,

    Jerzy Ganczarczyk

  7. #7

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    At the risk of beeing labeled a member of the "me-to chorus" I must chime in and agree with the many who have expressed their thanks and admiration for Richard Watkins for publishing his massive Bibliography and making it freely available to the public.

    It is a huge and thankless job, and it was superbly done. Thank you Richard.

    Like Jerzy I was slightly annoyed by the non-standard capitalisation of the German language titles, but I do understand that his chosen way is a common and accepted way of cataloging by english speaking librarians when faced with the difficult task of transcribing titel pages (which more often than not include the actual title in ALL CAPS) from a language whose capitalisation rules they may not be familiar with.

    That however is a minor point. The bigger issue -to me- is Jerzys position that only titles "with merit" should be included in such a work. I strongly disagree. While the content of a title may be irrelevant to 99 of 100 users, for the 100th person they may contain that vital missing kernal of fact (or opinion) that will round out his search for knowledge. But even for utterly useless publications (if theoretically they could exist) it is important to know what they contain as to prevent many potentially disapointed readers from the cost and effort of aquiring or borrowing, and reading them.

    The biggest value of Richards work are his "Remarks", admittedly personal and idiosincratic comments on the works cited. In a world dominated by bland and commercially driven book reviews this is a breath of fresh air. Richard has a clear perspective: Has this book taught me anything usefull. Furthermore reading his comments is enjoyable , and usefull itself, as long as it is taken as what it is, as one persons OPINION and not as fact.

    Thank you again Richard.

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki
    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, -Chair NAWCC Library Com./ Editor & Publisher of BHM
    Mem.NAWCC Mus.Coll.Com. / VP, USA Sect. Antiq.Horolog.Soc.

  8. #8

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    A couple of comments.
    First, I regret my lazy spelling and lack of capitalisation (erratic at that). Omission of umlauts etc was partly because of inconsistencies in book descriptions but much more to overcome some nasty problems with searches and sorting. I regret it, but at the moment I could not change such entries.
    Second, it is an ebook because I cannot afford to have it printed, not many people would buy it, and the original data base is a bit of a nightmare and unsuitable for distribution.
    Third, I agree more with Fortunat than with Gerzy on what to include. I think it is important to remember that one MAIN purpose is to provide information about books you HAVE NOT read and so it is a buyer's guide. After all, if you already own a book then you probably won't be interested in my opinion (except to see if I think the same way). This objective is important; I have many books that I probably wouldn't have bought if I had had some knowledge of their content and quality.
    Also, I think everything I have read has some merit, albeit minimal. How can I arbitrarily decide to omit novice books? Equally, should I omit highly mathematical treatises?
    I have been slightly selective by omitting most catalogues. These are frequently of no value except for a few pretty pictures and self adulatory remarks. Even though I feel dubious about omitting even these, I refuse to part with lots of money for them.
    Of course there are some important and very informative catalogues, but they are in the minority.
    To go back to my first point (books you have not read) I think meaningful reviews, even if contentious, are essential. To know a book exists is of little help, but to know that a book exists that mentions something you are interested in AND to have an idea of its quality is very useful.
    This is why the contents index is, to my mind important. It was a nightmare to build and of nowhere near as much use as I would like, but it does give some help in searching for that which you do not know about.
    Richard Watkins
    Books: http://watkinsr.id.au

  9. #9

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    I forgot.
    My bibliography is utterly uninteresting for its bibliographic data. But I think it is interesting because of its informative data.
    Now, there some 1,500 entries that I haven't read and haven't reviewed. My current rate is about 50 books a year so I will have to live another 30 years at least; out of the question and I will have lost my marbles long before then.
    Which is why you should read the preface, discuss it with other people and decide if it is worthwhile to contribute by supplying me with reviews and index entries.
    I definitely intend producing another edition one day ...
    Richard Watkins
    Books: http://watkinsr.id.au

  10. #10

    Default New Book - Mechanical Watches, an annotated bibliography (By: Richard Watkins)

    Bookreview by Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki

    Mechanical Watches, An Annotated Bibliography of Publications since 1800, by Richard Watkins. Published in December 2004, in Kingston (Tasmania, Australia) by the author. Two Volumes, 1017 pages. ISBN 0-9581369-5-5.
    Not published on paper. Available only as a free download from the authors’ website (http://www.watkinsr.id.au), approx. 2.5Meg of data in zipped format, which expands into three puff files, and can be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Reader software. Lending copy also available at the Library in Columbia.
    For the serious scholar or researcher in any subject, including horology, bibliographies are an indispensable tool; they tell you which publications exist on your area of interest. Horology recently has not been blessed by an abundance of bibliographic effort. Up to the book under review, there were only two reasonably broad bibliographies available:
    1.) Clocks & Watches, An Historical Bibliography, by G.H. Baillie. Volume I appeared in 1951 (414 pages, NAG Press, London, with a reprint in 1978 by Movements in Time, Toronto). It covers horological publications from the year 1344 to 1800. Volume 2 (to include 1801 to 1900) existed only in draft form when the author died, the late Charles Aked worked on the draft in the 1980s, but died before it was ready; it is unlikely to ever get published. With its historic focus the existing volume is of limited use to most of today’s’ horologists.
    2.) Bibliographie Generale de la Mesure du Temps, by Tardy (the pen name for Henri Langellé) was published in 1947 (390 pages, Tardy, Paris; 2nd edition 1980). It is in French, and although it covers the non-french horological literature as well it is relatively franco-centric, and not very current either.
    There are a few specialized, more narrowly focused horological bibliographies out there, such as Campos, Bibliographia Relojera Espangola (1975, for Spanish publications) and Kahlert, Bibliographie zur Schwarzwalduhr (1984, 2 Volumes, limited to the bibliography of the black forest clock), as well as some specialized listings on sundials, electrical horology etc.
    Creating a good bibliography is a time-consuming, tedious and thankless task. Australian watch enthusiast Richard Watkins resides on the island of Tasmania giving him little chance to interact face to face with fellow collectors, so he took to buying (or borrowing) and reading most books he could about mechanical watches, building over decades a substantial personal library on the subject of mechanical watches. Through trial and error he discovered that not all books were worth buying or reading, and out of that frustration grew the desire to spare fellow horologists the dead-ends, and the resolve to create a comprehensive bibliographic record on the subject he loves.
    In the last 10 years he painstakingly recorded all the details about all publications he could find on mechanical watches into a database covering 2223 items. Fortunately he did not limit himself to the traditional bibliographic headings, but also recorded his own personal –and sometimes idiosyncratic- summaries and impressions on those books which he has seen himself (more than half of the items). He developed a massive index of subjects (26’000 entries) and keywords (7’000 entries), as well as over 13’000 data-points on the prices asked for these books.
    Organizing the database into a user-friendly printable form resulted in a massive work of over 1000 pages of 8½ by 11 inches, of rather small type. Economic realities dictated the path toward electronic publishing. The cost of printing and binding the work, plus shipping costs from Australia would result in a prohibitive price given the very limited global demand for such a publication. He could never break even on paper copies, so he decided to give the fruits of his labor away for free through the internet to his fellow horological enthusiasts.
    As long as you have a reasonably fast internet connection it is very easy to download the 2.5Meg data-files to your home computer. If you have basic computer skills you will have no problems unzipping the files, and viewing the resulting pdf-documents with the Adobe reader software. Printing your own paper copy will take a few ink-refills and some time unless you have a high speed printer (you may prefer to take the files to Kinko’s and print them two-sided on one of their high speed printers. I myself am crazy about bibliographies so I spent some dollars to have the results bound into hardcover books, but a cheap three-ring binder will obviously do the job as well.
    Getting the books printed will be a bit of an effort but the result is worth it. Two volumes, listing 2’000 plus horological books on mechanical watches (as well as some related publications, all published 1800 to 2004) including content summaries, accompanied by separate indices by full title (2740 entries), Title Key-word (6860 entries), Author (3240 entries), Date of publication (2233 entries) and Subject (26,640 entries). The subject index is a comprehensive index to the books based on their contents. Finally, the price guide has 13,500 entries giving sale prices in recent years.
    I consider this new book a vital element of any comprehensive horological research library and the author deserves the heartfelt thank you of horological scholars around the world. In a work of this magnitude there are always minor errors, but it would be petty to dwell on those. And yes, of course I disagree with the authors’ characterizations and summaries of some of the books, but then reading opinions that may differ from mine is also the most stimulating part or leafing through this text.
    Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ
    February 28, 2004
    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, -Chair NAWCC Library Com./ Editor & Publisher of BHM
    Mem.NAWCC Mus.Coll.Com. / VP, USA Sect. Antiq.Horolog.Soc.

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